The Falcons will likely try to run the ball early and often in the 2008 season. Michael Turner was brought in as a free agent in 2008 and he carry the load in the running game for the Falcons. Turner is a good power runner with enough speed to get down the field. Turner played in 16 games (0 starts) for the Chargers last season and he carried the ball 71 times for 316 yards (4.5 ypc) with 1 TD run. He also caught 4 passes for 16 yards (4.0 avg). Look for Turner to double his career totals if he can stay healthy in 2008 for the Falcons. Turner has now played in 59 games (1 start) in his NFL career and he has carried the ball 228 times for 1,257 yards (5.5 ypc) with 6 TD runs. He has also caught 11 passes for 71 yards (6.5 avg).
Jerious Norwood’s game complements Turner’s well as he is a speed burner really make big plays on the edges of a defense. Norwood played in 15 games (2 starts) for the Falcons last season and he carried the ball 103 times for 613 yards (6.0 ypc) with 1 TD run. He also caught 28 passes for 277 yards (9.9 avg). Look for Norwood to have another good season as he’s quite a dynamic player on offense. Norwood has now played in 29 games (2 starts) in his NFL career and he has carried the ball 202 times for 1,246 yards (6.2 ypc) with 3 TD runs. He also has caught 40 passes for 379 yards (9.5 avg) in his career.
2nd year man Jason Snelling will likely be the #3 RB for the Falcons this season. He played in 7 games (0 starts) for the Falcons in 2007 and he carried the ball 13 times for 43 yards (3.3 ypc) with 1 TD run. He didn’t catch any passes last season but that will likely change in 2008.
Rookie 5’9″, 199 pound running back Thomas Brown out of Georgia will battle Snelling for the #3 RB in 2008. Brown never was the main man in the running game at Georgia. He carried the ball 148 times as a senior at Georgia for 779 yards (5.3 ypc) with 10 TD runs. Brown has averaged 661.5 yards rushing and 5.8 TD runs per season in his 4 years at Georgia.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: B